Investment Push | Financial Express

This is a good sign that the government has already set the ball rolling to realize a significant part of it 65,000 crore disinvestment target this fiscal. As this newspaper reported on Saturday, the government is hoping to sell its residual stake in Hindustan Zinc (worth36,600 crore), in addition to indirect shares in ITC (a partial sale of shares) and Axis Bank. It seeks to complete the sale of Shipping Corporation of India, clear the way for strategic investment of Container Corporation of India and invite IDBI Bank to express interest in privatization. Investment Secretary Tuhin Kant Pandey also said that the proposal to sell HZL shares would be sent to the Union Cabinet soon.

Such initial efforts are a welcome departure from past practice when there is too much left in the final quarter, which makes some PSU offers too hasty. The lion’s share of the proposed sales in this financial year has been stuck for various reasons. Given that it is around Rs 1.8 trillion above the budget estimate for fertiliser and food subsidies, the government has to ensure that the disinvestment plan doesn't go off track once again. Already, it has the awkward distinction of missing its divestment targets three years in a row. The collection in FY22 stood at a mere 13,531 crore against the target 78,000 crore (revised downwards in Budget FY23 from 1.75 trillion). Building a larger investment pipeline will ensure a much healthier appetite for sales offers. A significant marketing effort also needs to be put in place to showcase the strengths of the selling entities so that these offers engage investors from a more diverse set.

In this context, the government must learn the right lesson from the chaos of the wind swan. The sales cloud of public-sector helicopter service providers could have been avoided if there had been better coordination among the various branches of government. . Just nine days after the Calcutta bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) directed action against Cayman, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the sale of 51% stake in PSU to Star 9 Mobility, a tripartite consortium. The island-based Almas Global Opportunity Fund, which EMC Limited, failed to repay to the creditors of a power transmission company, later went on to win the bidding process.

Although the cause of the abolition is not yet clear, the revelation is deeply embarrassing for the government. It is very likely that the sale of Pawan Hans should be put on hold now, the whole process should be ridiculed because even a cursory diligence can find the track record of the winning bidder. This is not the first such disaster. In January of this year, the sale of Central Electronics Limited (CEL) had to be stopped when some irregularities regarding the winning bidder were flagged in the political circles besides allegations of devaluation. According to Deepam’s guidelines on the eligibility of bidders, a conviction by a court of law or an accusation or adverse order by a regulatory authority that “casts doubt on the bidder’s ability to operate a public sector unit if invested, or is related.” Will be disqualified for. ” According to publicly available information, it would seem that if the consortium meets the financial eligibility criteria, it is only behind the main member, which carries the risk of disqualification if the NCLT order is appealed. The Center has initially made it clear that a letter of award has not yet been issued for the sale of Pawan Goose and that it is examining the matter legally. The way forward is to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

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